University of Oulu

Sirviö, J., Ismail, M., Zhang, K., Tejesvi, M., Ämmälä, A., Transparent lignin-containing wood nanofiber films with UV-blocking, oxygen barrier, and anti-microbial properties, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2020,8, 7935-7946.

Transparent lignin-containing wood nanofiber films with UV-blocking, oxygen barrier, and anti-microbial properties

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Author: Sirviö, Juho Antti1; Ismail, Mostafa Y.1; Zhang, Kaitao1;
Organizations: 1Fibre and Particle Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, P. O. Box 4300, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2Department of Ecology and Genetics, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3CHAIN Antimicrobials LLC, Teknologiantie 2, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Royal Society of Chemistry, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-06-02


Lignocellulose is a potential raw material for film and membrane applications, such as packaging for every day consumables or a supporting barrier layer for flexible electronics. Here, lignin-containing cationic wood nanofiber (CWNF) films were produced using sawdust as the starting material. Sawdust was directly cationized using four different aqueous solvents containing tetraethylammonium hydroxide with different carbamides (urea, methylurea, ethylurea, or dimethylurea) and glycidyltrimethylammonium chloride as the cationization agent. Cationic wood was obtained with a high cationic group content (around 1.5 mmol g−1) and yield (89–100%), and CWNFs were easily obtained by mechanical disintegration as a water suspension. The films produced using solvent-casting exhibited excellent visible-light transparence (around 80% at 600 nm), and the presence of lignin allowed high UV-adsorption (below 380 nm, transmittance was under 1%). The films showed high oxygen barrier properties (below 400 and 4000 m3 μm/m2 day atm at a relative humidity of 50 and 92%, respectively) and good mechanical strength. An antimicrobial test conducted using the disk method showed that the CWNF films exhibited bacterial anti-adhesive properties with a small inhibition zone. CWNFs are therefore potential environmentally friendly packaging materials to prevent food spoilage, or useful as a UV-absorption layer for electronic devices such as solar cells.

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Series: Journal of materials chemistry. A, Materials for energy and sustainability
ISSN: 2050-7488
ISSN-E: 2050-7496
ISSN-L: 2050-7488
Volume: 8
Issue: 16
Pages: 7935 - 7946
DOI: 10.1039/C9TA13182E
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 116 Chemical sciences
216 Materials engineering
221 Nanotechnology
Funding: J. A. S. would like to thank the Kone Foundation for its financial support. This research was conducted as part of the ARVOPURU project granted by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union and funded by the Council of Oulu Region, Ha-Sa Oy, Junnikkala Oy, Keitele Forest Oy, Kuhmo Oy, Pölkky Oy and Westas Group Oy.
Dataset Reference: Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Additional DRIFT spectra and TEM images; photographs of CWNF solutions and films, and antimicrobial performance of the reference film; histograms; stress–strain curves. See DOI: 10.1039/c9ta13182e.
Copyright information: © 2020 The Authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence.